Florida patient stories

  1. After Severe Rotator Cuff Injuries, Stuart Baker Found Relief at Mayo Clinic

    For Stuart Baker, flying was life. After beginning his career as a flight attendant, Stuart eventually earned a pilot’s license and flew for a major airline. But by age 40, this native of Winchester, Virginia, had torn his right rotator cuff twice, grounding his ability to fly. It took seven years, three surgeries and extensive [...]

  2. Life Beyond A Heart Transplant is Vibrant and Full for Elmo Aquino

    Fifteen years ago, Elmo Aquino, a resident of Orange Park, Florida, was an avid runner. He’d competed in Jacksonville's Gate River Run, an annual 15-kilometer running event, several times. But one morning in the summer of 2001, his active lifestyle came to an abrupt end when suddenly, while on a treadmill, he found he couldn’t [...]

  3. Double Lung Transplant Recipient Beats Cystic Fibrosis to Become A Running and Fitness Enthusiast

    When Tammy Bolerjack was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 18, she found herself frequently in and out of hospitals for treatments to help her breathe. Running 5K races and half-marathons certainly wasn’t something she envisioned in her future. Little did she know then that eventually a double lung transplant at Mayo Clinic's Florida campus would [...]

  4. Mayo Clinic’s First Lung Transplant Recipient in Florida Makes Every Moment for 15 Years and Counting

    When Richard Oppelt arrived at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in early 2001, his lung capacity was minimal – only 21 percent of what it should have been. A sandblaster for 24 years, Richard, from Melbourne, Florida, had developed silicosis, a lung disease caused by breathing in silica dust, which can damage the lining of the [...]

  5. Seamstress Moving and Sewing Again After Complex Spine Surgery for Scoliosis

    Growing up in Central Florida, Kimberly Kimmons was an active child. She loved swimming, biking and martial arts. But at age 12, Kim was diagnosed with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that most often occurs during a growth spurt before puberty. Unfortunately, Kim’s family didn’t have the resources to fully address her spinal [...]

  6. After Learning Flu-Like Symptoms Were Actually Thyroid Cancer, Mother Shares Advice to Help Save Others

    It was 2012, and Beth Spreitzer was busy with life. Mothering her fourth-grade daughter and taking care of a household left no time to get sick. However, after experiencing what she thought were too many common symptoms – fatigue, chills, fever – and not improving, Beth thought something else must be wrong. "In the past, [...]

  7. Unique Form of Genetic Testing Uncovers the Reason for Years of Mysterious Symptoms

    When she was a teenager, Sharon Mills started having excruciating pain after eating. Medical tests found abnormalities with her liver but no reason for the irregularities or pain. She continued to experience the troubling symptoms for decades. As an adult, Sharon moved to different parts of the country several times. With each move, she visited [...]

  8. Quick Access to Stroke Experts Through Telemedicine Makes All the Difference for George Hoggard

    George Hoggard knows a thing or two about the importance of a rapid response. A former firefighter, the 78-year-old Titusville, Florida, resident spent the better part of his 42-year career teaching astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center how to escape to safety in the event of an emergency on the launch pad. He also was [...]

  9. Treatment to Slow a Quick Heartbeat Returns Jim Davis to His Fast-Paced Life

    For 10 years, Jim Davis had a rapid heartbeat. He was otherwise healthy, though, so Jim wasn't particularly worried about it. He blamed the quick heart rate on his morning coffee. In time, however, the condition began to affect his daily life. Medication didn't seem to help. When Jim sought care at Mayo Clinic in [...]

  10. Celebrating 40 Twice as Nice After Recovery From Surprising Stroke

    It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and despite having house guests, Sherry Pinkstaff, Ph.D., awoke at 6 a.m., just as she did every day, and began planning her morning run. Sherry, then 39, ran daily. Exercise was important to her. After all, she’d made it her career. She was a professor of physical therapy at [...]

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